Artist Health

Filmmaker Kunle Afolayan Says Nigeria is Taking a Toll on him, Prepared to Relocate Overseas

I really would like to see stories about deal making in Nollywood and Nollywood business happenings in general;  but they are far and few between. Most of the news stories are more focused on the non-newsworthy personal affairs of our filmmakers and talents, a bit of a contrast from the music industry so far.

One reason might be the reasons cited below by Kunle Afolayan who recently took to his Facebook page to vent. His statements are nothing new, what’s sad is that the country continues to have the same status quo.

Indeed, I recall my mother sharing with me many years back, that the Nigerians in the 70s, her generation, visited Western countries for an education with the sole purpose of returning home. They did. However, in the late 80s into the 90s, the same Nigerians returned to Western countries in droves. I am seeing this pattern in my generation. There were many of my mates who relocated to Nigeria within the last 7-10 years, but I keep hearing news of many returning back to the States. The reason? They say Nigeria will drive you completely crazy if you don’t leave.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with Kunle? With the limited resources in Nigeria, Kunle has been able to do a lot. Imagine what he could do where those resources are readily available and he can just focus on filmmaking. Perhaps he indeed needs the break from the craziness to refuel and replenish?


Kunle Afolayan Family“YES! It is high time I started considering relocation. To where? I don’t know but it’s something that has been bothering me for some time now. I have always been an advocate of “Yes we are Nigerians and so shall it be” but for some time now the reality of the state of the Nigerian Nation is beginning to take its toll on me. Does our government consider us worthy citizens of Nigeria or we are just fooling ourselves?

There is no electricity to start with and that has been the case since I was born, now I have worked very hard and I am able to afford generator of any size but there is no fuel to run any of them, neither is there fuel to even move around when you need to attend to business. The life of a Kunle Afolayan is even better than that of majority of most Nigerians and every day I wonder and I ask what the future holds for ‘Iya Basira’ who sells wosiwosi and other petty traders whose goods is sometimes worth less that N10,000.

I am sure a lot of people will consider me a millionaire after I have made a few successful feature films that have recorded good box office figures and international recognition, but the truth is, it’s all make believe just as it is in the movies. If I was living in a better Nation and well-structured country, I probably will be living the life of a celebrity by now but the truth and reality is that, I am still a tenant and so is a lot of our so called celebrities in Nigeria and I am owing banks millions.

As a matter of fact, everybody in my house owns two passports, one for Nigeria and the other is for what is considered to be the most powerful country in the world, I have refused get my citizenship of America because of my sentiments of being “ PROUDLY NAIJA”. E be like say I don wake up now!! Make I carry my “ENTERPRENEURIAL ENERGY “and talent go elsewhere jare . . .”

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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